• Tom and Jerry's Greatest Chases - Volume 4



    Released by: Warner Brothers
    Released on:
    Director: Various
    Cast: N/A
    Year: Various
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    The Series:

    With all the different Tom and Jerry compilation DVDs out there, how is one to know which to choose? As a huge fan of the cat and mouse duo, I find the Spotlight sets to be the best investment if you’re a serious fan. That’s a LOT of chasing, crashing and mayhem though, so for the more casual collector the Tom and Jerry’s Greatest Chases single discs are perfect. Being a series with such an extensive library of fantastic shorts, this fourth installment, “Tom and Jerry’s Greatest Chases Volume 4,” is no exception. Going through the title list, there are several recognizable titles which lets you know the caliber of episodes chosen for this set, “Just Ducky”,” Jerry and Jumbo” and “Polka-Dot Puss”, just to name a few.

    Episodes include:
    “The Mouse Comes to Dinner” (1945): Tom invites one of his many girly cats over for dinner with Jerry serving. As expected though, Jerry turns the tables on Tom and winds up with the upper hand. Ever notice how most of the cats Tom falls for are jerks? Just wondering.

    “Springtime for Thomas” (1946): In this one, Tom has fallen for another pretty kitty… this time though, thanks to Jerry, that black alley cat sees a picture of her and decides to try to win her heart. And the rivalry and violence ensue. Gotta love a cat who can jump off a diving board, hit the water, climb out and drink all the pool water before the next cat, who was right behind him on the diving board, dives in. Ouch.

    “Trap Happy” (1946): Tom is so fed up with not being able to catch Jerry he resorts to calling the Ajax Mouse Exterminator… which is, naturally, another cat. HELP! A MOUSE! EEEEEEEEEEK! COME QUICK! EEEEEEEEEEK! With Tom seemingly foiling all his attempts, the Mouse Exterminator decides to switch his profession and start exterminating something else…

    “Polka-Dot Puss” (1949): Jerry paints red spots on Tom’s face convincing him he’s sick. Jerry then tries to nurse him back to health in his own sadistic ways. When Tom finds out though that Jerry’s been pulling his leg all the time, doesn’t he feel like a jackass! Jerry gets his comeuppance at the end of this one though!

    “Saturday Evening Puss” (1950): A party at Tom’s house brings back that black alley cat and this time he’s brought a couple of his friends in “Saturday Evening Puss” where the cats wreak havoc on poor Jerry who just wants some peace and quiet at home. The black Aunt Jemima lady owner is in this one… gotta love 1950s un-PC-ness.

    “Little Quacker” (1950): Everyone’s got to remember this one in which Jerry befriends a lost duckling looking for his mamma. And you thought Donald Duck was hard to understand! When Qucker finds his parents, Tom is in for a beating! Or a lawnmower up and down the back. Whichever is funnier.

    “Cruise Cat” (1952): In this one, Tom is a crew hand on a cruise ship and during their usual chase, the cat and mouse come into a theatre room showing cartoons where “Texas Tom” (another Tom and Jerry short) is playing on the screen. They stand and watch for a while, each amused when the other one gets hurt, until they both get so irritated and they’re soon at it again!

    “The Missing Mouse” (1953): Jerry, painted white, tricks Tom into thinking he’s the deadly (exploding?) white mouse Tom heard about on a radio program. When Jerry accidentally falls in the sink though, Tom gets his revenge, but guess who’s just shown up at the door? Don’t… you… believe it!

    “Jerry and Jumbo” (1953): Another favorite where Jerry befriends a lost baby elephant. Jerry has a bad habit of befriending lost animals, doesn’t he. In this one though, he disguises baby Jumbo as a giant mouse, much to Tom’s terror. Just wait till he sees Mamma Mouse… err… Elephant.

    “Just Ducky” (1953): Little Quacker is back and in “Just Ducky” he loses his mamma again because he can’t swim. When hungry Tom lays his eyes on him, it’s a good thing he at least knows how to run! By the end though, Jerry proves himself a good teacher, even if he does teach Ducky the front crawl.

    “Little School Mouse” (1954): Jerry, a certified teacher in the art of outwitting cats, takes that little grey mouse (I don’t think it was ever said what this mouse’s relation is to Jerry, but oh well…) out of the classroom and out to experience Tom first hand. Someone needs to check this mouse’s references…

    “Tom and Cherie” (1955): In one of the mouseketeer episodes, Tuffy (that little grey mouse… the things you find out when you put the subs on!), is out to deliver a love letter from Jerry to Lilli. Of course Tom does his best to make it as difficult as possible. A mouseketeer is brave though… TOUCHE, PUSSYCAT!

    “Muscle Beach Tom” (1956): This entry, which takes place at the beach obviously, pits Tom and the black alley cat against each other yet again over, yes, you guessed it… another girl. At least this one’s nice… and what a dancer!

    “Down Beat Bear” (1956): A dancing circus bear is on the loose and when Tom finds out a reward is being offered for its capture he does his best to contact the police to come for him. The only problem is when the bear hears music he starts dancing… with Tom, of course. Jerry keeps playing music keeping Tom from making that money-making call.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The first eleven episodes included on this disc are presented in 1:37:1 full frame format. The last three, “Tom and Cherie,” “Muscle Beach Tom” and “Down Beat Bear” are shown in 2:35:1 widescreen. Picture quality is good throughout, no real speckling, and colors are bright.

    “Tom and Jerry’s Greatest Chases Volume 4” offers mono English, Spanish and Portuguese language options as well as English, French, Portuguese and Thai subtitles.

    The only extras on this disc are a couple of DVD trailers. One is for the first “Tom and Jerry’s Greatest Chases” and the other is for “Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown” / “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown.”

    The Final Word:

    Overall this is an enjoyable set with fourteen really great examples of why Tom and Jerry cartoons lasted as long as they did. While some may criticize them as violent, they are wildly popular with both children and adults and all these years later don’t feel the slightest bit dated. Bring on Volume 5, Warner!